Video: Pre-production Chevrolet Bolts already rolling off the line

Chevrolet Bolt EV

GM has announced that pre-production units of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt are rolling off the assembly line. The company released photos and a video from its plant in Orion Township, Michigan, showing the white and grey newborns trundling down the line in their cradles.

Chevrolet has not announced a firm target date for the first Bolt deliveries, but has said that retail production won’t start until “the end of this year.”

Between now and then, engineers will be working with assembly line staff to test the plant’s new tooling and refine the intricate dance of parts delivery, vehicle assembly and quality control.

“We’re at another critical and important point in the development of the Bolt EV,” said Josh Tavel, the Bolt’s Chief Engineer. “We’ve moved from working in math, and building cars by hand, to building Bolt EVs on the line.”

 

 

Source: Chevrolet via Green Car Reports

  • Dave_SRQ

    Notice how you never see a straight-on side view of the Chevy Bolt. This is a tiny econocar that would be evident from a straight-on side view (where you could see the minimal space between the rear door and the rear hatch). The same is true of the tiny BMW i3. Almost no straight on side view marketing photos exist of the BMW i3 either.

    When you see either car in person you’ll say “holy crap, why is it so small”? At 164 inches long, the Bolt is super tiny. Putting it in perspective:
    – The Tesla Model S is 196 inches long
    – The Toyota Corolla is 183 inches long
    – The Ford Focus and Honda Civic is 179 inches long
    – The Nissan Versa is 175 inches long
    – The Nissan Sentra is 182 inches long

    So basically the Chevy Bolt is 18 inches shorter than a Nissan Sentra.

    • Bill Davis

      So? The Bolt is 21″ longer than a Chevy Spark, and 5″ longer than a Chevy Sonic. It’s not how long the car is that matters, it’s how you use it…

      • Dave_SRQ

        Bill Davis – I’m not sure if you’re joking or not. So I’ll assume that you’re serious. The Chevy Spark has 98 horsepower. How many ways could it possibly be used, other than basic transportation? Every highway on-ramp is a major challenge for the Spark. And if the on-ramp is uphill, well then good luck. But the Spark does one thing well. It gets you from A to Z (warm and dry), for less than $13K new. And so you could actually purchase THREE Chevy Sparks for the price of a single Chevy Bolt.

        • Bill Davis

          Sure I’m serious Dave. Whats wrong with the Bolt being a small car? The only point you’ve made in your post is that it’s small, and implied that there’s some problem with this. If a small car doesn’t suit you, don’t buy it. The i3 is selling well so there are certainly interested buyers out there.

          Regarding the Spark’s performance, you are likely right about the gas car. However the Spark EV (which I just leased for my daughter) will drop most cars from a stoplight!

          • Dave_SRQ

            Bill, I’m sure your daughter appreciated receiving the Spark EV. My first car was a used 1972 Corolla with a 1.6L engine. So I know there is a market for very small and inexpensive cars. The point I was trying to make was that I have a problem with paying $38K or more for a very small car (particularly with limited usability), like the Bolt, or like the BMW i3.

          • Bill Davis

            Dave,
            I certainly see the logic in that, but what a car is “worth” depends on much more than the size. Take the Lotus Elise or Alpha Romeo 4C, two sports cars that are very small and cost much more than the Bolt. It will be interesting to see if you think that the Tesla Model 3 will be the right “size” for its price.

        • bromo33333

          Remember the VW Beetle form the 1960’s? 40hp to 65hp depending on which one!

          But –

          EV are not economy cars (as you point out) whether they are big or small. How could they be? I am not sure an economy car comparison is even valid.

        • Nosig

          98 horsepower doesn’t say anything. It’s all about torque, torque, torque. My electric Renault Zoe has about 88 hp, but will happily leave everybody behind on an uphill on-ramp because of the high, instant and constant torque. Less hp might mean lower top speed, depending on gearing, but that’s not relevant with normal use traffic. The Zoe’s size is similar to the Bolt as well, meaning compact outside (because no big engine and transmission) and very roomy inside. It has the largest trunk in its class as well (because no fuel tank).

          • Dave_SRQ

            Let’s all compare notes tomorrow, after the Tesla Model 3 prototype reveal. I suspect a lot of folks who previously purchased “City Car” BEVs will seriously consider a Model 3 for their next vehicle purchase. Since it will be a more capable, no compromise EV for less than $40K. Maybe with the exception of households where someone works for GM, Nissan, or BMW. For everyone else, let me be the first to welcome you to the Tesla brand.

          • Deborah Marie

            I NEED A LOT OF TORQUE….

      • Deborah Marie

        LOL BILL !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Dave_SRQ

        Chevy Spark is a car without a trunk. How could you possibly use that to carry anything but 4 miniature people?

    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/CapitalDistrictEVDrivers/ Michael Kamm

      Yes, so it is just the right size then.

    • Stop Iphaggotry

      Typical American thinking. All need a 3 ton 25 foot long vehicle to drive to your mailbox or use as an V8 powered air conditioned lunchroom at work.

      • Dave_SRQ

        Let’s not stereotype here. You don’t know me at all. I’ve owned a 72 Corolla, a 74 Pinto, a Subaru, and a 79 Mazda in my younger days. Over the last 20 years, I’ve owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a BMW 3 series, a RAV4, and some other Toyotas, Lexus, etc. As well as a Mercedes, an Audi, and a Tesla Model S. I’ve owned them all. Small, Large, Domestic, Japanese, German, etc.

        All Americans don’t drive Hummers or Suburbans. But if every country was as big as America in acreage, it would be difficult to sell a high percentage of small and uncomfortable vehicles. Americans drive more than drivers in smaller countries because we have more land between destinations, and less taxes per gallon of gasoline.

        • Jasmin

          Actually, you don’t. Singaporeans, in the “little red dot”, actually drive just as far as average American. The size of the country has nothing to do with average mileage – unless the average New Yorker regularly has a pressing need to hit the road and drive to LA. Most people commute to and from work, do the shopping, a few social runs and errands, and maybe the odd weekend out of town. That’s pretty much it. You are more likely to fly (or in Europe/East Asia, take high speed rail) than drive much beyond 300 miles – and that’s common across most cultures regardless of the size of the country – otherwise Russians would drive twice what Americans do, and they don’t.

    • Jasmin

      Yes, I can clearly see how the Bolt is inferior to the Toyota Corolla. It is 19 inches of inferior, so clearly the car is only for women and beta males, not manly man men. Clearly, there can be no doubt that the Chevy Suburban is the best, most superior, manly man alpha-male car on the road today.

      • Dave_SRQ

        If you say so. I guess?

    • Gyrogordini

      If you must comment, think in the real world. Using adjectives like “tiny”, you are indicating – after ALL those vehicles that have slid through your garage – that you have no idea. Tiny, is a Smart, tiny is a GWiz. The i3 is a perfectly reasonable four seater car, able to be used by 90% of the world’s car driving population, should it suit their circumstances. The T3 will be another one, and many of us will wait patiently to receive ours.
      The Bolt appears to be much like the first gen Mercedes A Class, a miracle of packaging and diverse utility. Small on the outside, fully folding/removable seats, good handling, quite suitable for my regular 150 mile weekend commute, at the time. (Did it for three years, before swapping for a 1.6 litre Citroen – yep, small but perfectly formed, again – and my current 1.4 litre Polo GTI (with supercharger and turbocharger).)
      Others have commented on your ridiculous post, so no need to recap.
      The world does not revolve around SUV and truck-mad US consumers, thank goodness.

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/CapitalDistrictEVDrivers/ Michael Kamm

    I saw the Bolt in person at the NY Auto show this week and it looks terrific. It would suit my purposes nicely. I’ve asked my local Chevy dealer to call me when the first one comes in.

    • Jasmin

      If I was in the US. I’d be saving up right now. It looks like a great car. Aesthetically, I prefer the Tesla 3, but the Chevy seems way more practical – a real hatchback and proper dashboard, plus good dealer network and if it’s anything like the Volt/Ampera, good solid mechanicals.

  • Stop Iphaggotry

    When GM builds a new technology vehicle do not be excited. Be afraid.

    If you are even thinking of considering this then you are the next fool that GM is looking for. One must look at the legacy of Chevrolet- and GM as a whole. Products like the Corvair- they couldn’t even copy an archiac (even at the time) VW design. The Vega- it wasn’t as if they didn’t know how to build a small car as they built Opels. You would have thought they would have learned their lesson with that, but no. They turned around and gave us the Citation. Diesel engine cars that used a gasoline engine as a foundation. The 4-6-8 engine. Their “European import fighter”- A Cavalier with a Cadillac badge.

    Every one of their technology breakthroughs have been $hit. Stinking piles of it. In the past 50 years , it is proven that GM does not embrace technology. Because when they do, they find that they have to do everything they can to erase it from history. Worse is they can’t even master building a bland cookie cutter $hitbox car.

    You see, all those small repair shops all over the nation that exist and give Mexican immigrants jobs- they exist just because of GM cars. Water pumps. Starters. Plastic Intake manifold gaskets. Right after the warranty goes out. The guys can do them blindfolded because they see them daily.

    GM has been playing their customers for fools for over 50 years. There is no product development engineers at GM- the customers are the product development engineers- GM’s history is of building $hit$tains. There’s a reason why they went bankrupt.